A major announcement has been made, in regards to Google Shopping – with it opening up to organic Google listings, in their continued aim to compete with Amazon organically.

Google is beginning to open up Shopping results to organic listings

Google announced last week that

‘The Google Shopping tab results will consist primarily of free product listings’

This latest update from Google is being rolled out due to the pressures and problems that the coronavirus pandemic is causing for many businesses across the globe – primarily brick and mortar companies, that need to pivot online. 

If switching your store to e-commerce wasn’t important enough in 2020 and beyond, it is now an even more urgent matter with heightened importance for business owners.

Bill Ready, Google’s president of commerce, stated in a recent blog post that

‘The crisis was the impetus for advancing our plans to make Google Shopping free for merchants. However, the change will be permanent and fits into the longer-term vision for the company’s role in digital commerce’

Bill Ready also went on to say

‘For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs,”

‘For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings.’

Why is this update important?

This is almost a ‘throwback’ update from Google, as Google Shopping used to be free, back in 2012

However, since it became a paid feature, businesses like Amazon have taken over the real estate of shopping online, and this update is their aim of fighting back. 

Through opening this (back) up to all businesses, this increases Google’s offering for commerce merchants online, as well as consumers.

And, it’ll likely only stand to benefit Google too, with an increased amount of listings – there will be more listings for merchants to compete with – and if they want to gain visibility over these, they can still continue to pay for ads.

For e-commerce marketers and SEOs, this updates adds a new layer to product search optimisation efforts.

Here’s how this new update will work:

Paid ads

Paid shopping ads are not going away anytime soon – and as stated above, they’re now more important. Paid shopping ads will appear at the top and bottom of Google Shopping pages – just like normal organic search pages.

Powered through product feeds

The free product listings on Google Shopping will be powered with product feeds that are uploaded to Google Merchant Center by individual merchants. So, to get started listing products, you’ll need to open a Google Merchant Center account and upload a product feed.

PayPal integration

Alongside this announcement, Google also started a new partnership with PayPal, whereby merchants using PayPal will be able to link those accounts to Google Merchant Center, which will allow Google to pull in seller details faster and to verify trusted merchants.

Google also partners with a plethora of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce and BigCommerce to make it easier for merchants to manage inventory and products.